Muzzleloaders rendezvous under way but windy
The word was “wind” Friday afternoon while the Eagle Valley Muzzleloaders set up for their spring rendezvous, which runs through Sunday.
Two re-enactors who drove up from Tonopah, Ray “Nine Fingers” Anderson and Nick Harvey, 16, got tired of their white canvas tent blowing over so they finally folded it up and set up their bedding on top of it.
“Obviously with the weather the way it is there’ll be some people who don’t make the trip over the hill, unfortunately,” said organizer John Considine.
He said the wind could be a problem for blackpowder rifles — especially flintlocks, which use loose powder as a starter and sparks to light it.
“But even if we can’t shoot we’ll have fun sitting around, do a lot of socializing, eating, swapping lies and regaling each other with tales of past misadventures such as run-ins with various sharp implements,” laughed Considine.
This was a reference to Mr. Nine Fingers — Ray Anderson — who cut his finger last year.
“I got it stitched up and came back out,” he recalled.
“You have to be careful what you do in camp, otherwise you’ll earn a nickname — and it’s usually not something you’d like to be called,” explained Considine.
The group still plans to hold its organized shooting competitions Saturday –providing the wind dies down.
“Our big event is the aggregate,” said Considine. It involves a trail with different competitions along the way: the tomahawk and knife throws, the pistol shoot and the “ball split,” where the shooter aims a lead bullet at an axe facing him, splitting it to hit two targets.
“It can be done, but it’s a lot harder than one would think,” he said.
They’ll also shoot ketchup packets in a game known as the “bug splat.”
“And if the weather cooperates we’ll do flint and steel fire starting,” Considine said.
Sunday’s schedule includes shotgun shoots and the “long dong” distance shooting. Metal targets resonate when hit.
As Considine explained how he and his group prefer to shoot targets that ring or move — rather than just punching holes in paperE– a gust of wind descended on the camp, scattering dust and twigs.
“At least we ain’t chasin’ the tent no more,” laughed Anderson.
A leader with Boy Scout troop 17 in Tonopah, he and Harvey, a junior assistant scout master, run the black powder range at Fleischmann Summer Camp at the base of the Cascade Mountains near Susanville.
Harvey, in cotton pants and red knit hat, is currently organizing his required project to earn the highest rank in scouting — Eagle. He plans to refinish the bleachers at Tonopah Middle School.
To find the rendezvous, drive west on Rhodes Street past Greenhouse Garden Center. Follow the gravel road into the canyon.
IF YOU GO
What: Eagle Valley Muzzleloaders annual spring rendezvous — public welcome
When: Today and Sunday
Where: Canyon at end of Rhodes Street — past the Greenhouse Garden Center
For information on the annual Eagle Valley Muzzleloaders Rendezvous go to http://webpages.charter.net/twofalls/spring_Flier.htm or go to the Carson City tourism site: http://www.visitcarsoncity.com